Tomorrow, June 6th, is National Cancer Survivors Day: this is traditionally observed on the first Sunday in June.
It is a day for cancer survivors, their loved ones, and their caregivers to all celebrate life. Today, there are 11 million cancer survivors in the US, and I am very grateful to be one of them. I owe my life to my wonderful surgeon, radiation oncologist, oncologists, radiologists, and their support staffs: I am forever in their debt.
I was diagnosed almost 35 months ago; that day now seems very far in the past. As I have written elsewhere, the diagnosis of cancer is no longer a death sentence, as it truly was earlier in my lifetime. By living, we have robbed cancer of its power to overcome us, and each day is a victory.
The fact that National Cancer Survivors Day even exists is testimony to the tireless efforts of researchers and caregivers to find new ways to improve and prolong the lives of those who have been diagnosed with cancer. And, it is also a testament to those who have invented and improved methods for detecting cancers in their earliest stages (my cancer was Stage I, could not be felt, and was only visible as a cluster of microcalcifications on my mammogram).
The day is also intended to demonstrate that cancer survivors everywhere can lead active, productive lives; in most cases, much like those in their community who are living without cancer. I am still amazed that during my entire cancer treatment, including 2 surgeries, that I never spent one night in a hospital, and that I didn't have to take any work-related disability leave. I was able to work throughout my treatment.
All of us who are living with cancer face varying survivorship issues, but the important thing is that we are alive: that is what tomorrow is all about!
Take one day at a time; find joy in each day, and with those close to you. Do not allow worrying about your future to cloud your present!
Below are some links from the "Coping With Cancer" website:
National Cancer Survivors Day: www.ncsd.org
National Cancer Institute: www.cancer.gov
American Society of Clinical Oncology: www.cancer.net
American Cancer Society’s Cancer Facts & Figures:
American Cancer Society: www.cancer.org